There are five active senses, and the sense of smell is called olfactory. Sadly, humans don’t have a very acute sense of smell, but dogs’ noses are more than 10,000 times more sensitive than ours. These days, trained sniffer dogs work in different fields, but even an ordinary pet can save your life with their sharp abilities.
W absolutely adore dogs, and there is nothing more interesting that delving into the scientific facts about the differences between animals and humans. Today, we have a special treat and decided to take a look at the seven facts you didn't know about your canine companion when it comes to their amazing smelling senses. So, let's take a closer look at what man's best friend has to offer.
1. Dogs can smell fluctuation in glucose levels
This may seem ridiculous, but studies have confirmed that dogs can smell a drop in the glucose blood level. They can distinguish this by the change of smell in our sweat. If you're a dog owner and suffer from diabetes, this ability can be crucial for you.
Other research shows that dogs can also interpret our behavioral shifts. So, as soon as your pet notices you smell the wrong way or that you’re unusually sleepy, it will start to act. Dogs can begin to show signs of stress and will try to attract their owner’s attention. This is really handy to know!
2. Dogs can detect cancer cells
Scientists have explained that cancer causes our cells to work differently from normal, healthy cells in order to grow a tumor. The infected cells generate a specific type of protein that a dog can smell. There has been extensive research, and it has shown that dogs are able to detect lung cancer via breath and prostate or bladder cancer via the smell of urine.
Wow, this sounds otherworldly, but it's incredible. Continuous studies are focussing in this direction, and dogs have also shown reliability in melanoma cancer tracing. These days, all you need to do is meet sniffer dogs in clinics treating different types of cancer including breast cancer. This is a valuable tool in early-stage diagnostics.
3. Dogs can distinguish the identity of a person
Humans recognize people by appearance, using our eyesight. Dogs, however, use smell as a differentiator. Let's use this as an example: The human smell is sort of a fingerprint, and when a dog grabs hold of that scent, which sends messages to the brain where it's stored. Each scent is unique, like our own identification, and instead of storing this information in our brains, or visual memory, the dog stores it in its nose, or sensory organ.
Experts reassure us that dogs can recognize a familiar person or place even if the odor is mixed with perfume or “marks” after coming into contact with other people. Now here is something spectacular. Well-trained dogs are even able to detect “smell portraits” of identical twins! This ability is widely-used in police work when searching for people that have reportedly gone missing after various misadventures.
4. Dogs can sense oncoming epileptic seizures
It has been confirmed that dogs can detect a subsequent epileptic seizure up to 45 minutes before it starts. Scientists believe that these pets are able to sense a specific smell that introduces the medical condition. So, as soon as your dog is aware of the danger, it will try to get your attention by barking, and if you fall down in convulsion, your furry friend will stay nearby to guard you.
This makes homeowners think twice when alone. It's definitely a bonus to have a pet, but a dog seems to be the right choice for so many health and safety reasons. Just when you thought these were the best uses for those amazing wet little noses, we reveal more!
5. Dogs sense your interaction with other dogs
We know that animals communicate with one another, and dogs are no different. They send each other “messages” via pheromones that can be found in their urine, skin, fur, and fecal matter. So, if you’ve visited a friend or family member who owns a pet, your furry companion will know all about it!
This is why upon arriving home, you get sniffed all over because they are trying to figure out who you’ve interacted with. The best part about it is that the message will include detailed information about the breed, size, health and other features of the dog you “cheated on them” with. Now, why couldn't we have amazing abilities like this?
6. Dogs can detect pregnancy
Dogs are super protective, and when sharing a bond, or being part of a family, you're sure to be in good paws. They naturally live in packs, and a happy dog is a strong, protective dog who rules not only the house and grounds but protects its pack, his human family. So, we know a dog's nose can detect slight changes in body odor, but did you know that if you're pregnant, they can sense it?
Since your body goes through some serious hormonal changes that simply cannot be missed by your pet. The experts state that dogs can detect the very early stages of pregnancy by your smell and slight changes in your body’s movements, even though you won't notice either of them. And their behavior will change since you’re basically a new person to them now. That is amazing!
7. Dogs can sense weather pattern changes
Who needs the news when you have your furry companion? Ever since ancient times, animals have been closer to nature than people, and nowadays, investigations have proven that dogs can smell even the slightest changes in the air, forecasting a storm or other disasters. This is especially handy when you're living in countries with extreme changes in weather, and it could endanger your life or those of your loved ones.
This, combined with a dog’s total sensitivity to geomagnetic fields and vibrations, makes the prediction quite trustworthy. So, pay attention to your best friend when he warns you of those strange changes in the air. He is clearly not barking for the fun of it. Apart from the amazing things on this list, dogs can save lives before we even detect any sense of danger.
Bonus: Scientists have proven that dogs are our friends
Adopting a pet is a massive decision because this little life is entirely dependant on you. So, when adopting a dog into a family, we may think of the pet as a companion for those morning jogs or as security for the house. Furthermore, scientists have proven that dogs are amazing best friends for kids.
Having a dog in the family stimulates the child to be more socially active, more kind to other people and animals, and guess what else? The kids are even prone to reading more books! Wow, that is excellent news for education, don't you agree? So apart from dogs being all round amazing, they are also teachers for the young.
We really enjoyed sharing this with you. Do you have a furry friend at home? These are such amazing facts that it makes us love and appreciate our pets more. Remember to share this with your friends and family, and keep up-to-date with us for more exciting fun facts!